Don't Overtrain or Undertrain for the 5K or 10K

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For researchers and coaches, long-distance running training principles sometimes differ. They observe the data and interpret the data differently. The result is that coaches and researchers will perform different actions and subscribe to different training programs. These researchers provide a wealth of information and what they have to offer sports physiology is invaluable. At any rate, training principles are necessary to guide your long-distance training, whether you’re training for the 5K, 10K or a marathon.

Have a Firm Aerobic Exercise Base

As you begin training for a long-distance race, it’s important to have an extensive aerobic exercise base. You develop this base of aerobic exercise by increasing the miles you run every week. As you’re doing this, add speed training. There will be times when you should revert back to just aerobic exercise in order to help you train for speed harder in the future.

Undertraining and Overtraining

One the difficulties with training for a long-distance race is finding the optimum balance between undertraining and overtraining. If you keep training at the same intensity and mileage, you will not see progress. But if you train too hard, then you may suffer injury, illness, weakness and burnout. If you gradually progress your training intensity, your body will be able to adapt. Generally, try to progress weekly by about 5% to 10%. That means if you are running 10 miles one week, the next week you will run 10.5 miles or 11 miles.


It is easy for runners to just jump in to their training program without researching or thinking through the benefits and consequences. If you don’t plan your training program, your running will be less effective. If you are less effective during your training, you may have to put in more running hours than you would have to order in order to reach your goals.


Glover, Bob The Competitive Runner’s Handbook

This post is part of the series: Long Distance Training Princples

How should you train for a long distance race, like the 5k, 10k or a marathon. It is important to have certain principles guide your thinking when you begin a training program.

  1. Don’t Overtrain or Undertrain for the 5k or 10k